Panasonic intros 4K Pro "reference grade” TVs, new curved and flat flagships herald a massive UHD offensive

posted on Wednesday, 25th February 2015 by Steve May

4K  Events  Trade show 

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Panasonic has significantly expanded its range of 4K TVs, introducing curved models for the first time alongside UHD flatscreens, and established at top tier of 4K Pro models. The latter feature a new "reference grade" Studio Master processor capable of 1024 steps of gradation and advanced colour management. A newly developed 3D Lookup Table boasts 8000 registry points, which the company says enables professional-grade colour accuracy.

All 4K Pro sets also feature a Super Bright Wide Colour Phosphor panel, which combines advanced LED backlighting with a colour filter system able to deliver up to 98 per cent of the DCI colour space. The company says these Wide Colour Phosor panels exceed the performance of rival Quantum Dot offerings and consume far less power.

Heading the 2015 Panasonic UHD line-up is the 4K Pro CX802 series and its curved equivalent, the CR850 series. Aside from form factors, there’s no difference in terms of feature specification between the two ranges. “Unlike some manufacturers, we are not restricting the latest technology to our curved proposition,” TV product manager Craig Cunningham told Inside CI at the brand’s dealer convention in Frankfurt. He went on to describe the incoming curved CR850 and CR730 lines as “a design choice” for consumers.

The CX802, (known as the CX800 across Europe) will be available in 40-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch sizes; the high-end curved CR850 will debut in 55- and 65-inch screens. Panasonic claims both are HDR capable (with a firmware update), offering a peak brightness of 500 Nits.

At the other end of the scale, Panasonic will open with the 4K CX400 series (pictured below), featuring a 40-inch entry level set which will be priced around £500. While this model lacks the full suite of image processing found on 4K Pro models it does boast an HEVC decoder and four 4K enabled HDMI inputs. 

CX400

Firefox Demo

At the Dealer Convention, Panasonic also previewed its intuitive new Firefox UI (pictured above) and confirmed that the majority of connected screens in 2015 will offer Freeview Play, the new Smart Freeview TV platform with integrated catch-up. “We will be the first to offer it,” assured Cunningham. At the convention, the brand ran breakout areas to demonstrate a prototype 1000 Nit panel displaying HDR content from the Netflix Marco Polo show, plus an early 10-bit  panel sample. There was also an impressive 65-inch 4K OLED, of which more news is promised later this year. 

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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